Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Laughed, I Cried! It Was Better Than Cats!

I'm going to see it again and again!

In the 1980s, it was common for Broadway TV advertisements to include short testimonials from audience members who were uniformly WOWED by the show. These man-on-the-street reports slyly convinced the unwashed masses that we must immediately rush out to see the same play.

Here is a classic commercial from this genre from 1989, for Grand Hotel:

This advertising gimmick reached the height of absurdity around 1985-86 when a woman exiting some forgotten show made reference to the current Broadway blockbuster, "Cats". The woman exclaimed: "I Laughed, I Cried! It Was Better than Cats! I'm going to see it again and again!"

It was unintentional hilarity at its best.

On October 11, 1986, the new season debut episode of Saturday Night Live parodied the commercial with a fake advertisement for hypnotist "The Amazing Alexander". All the testimonials stated, verbatim, "I loved it! It was much better than Cats! I'm going to see it again and again!"

Here's the clip:

This was a very popular parody, and since it was broadcast nationwide, it has reached many who do not know of the inspiration for it.

Both the original commercial and the SNL parody have spawned countless sarcastic uses of "its better than Cats!!" since 1986. But the original commercial seems to be lost.

Where's the Original Commercial?

In various internet forums over the past 10+ years, various plays have been suggested as the source for the original commercial. The 1985 Broadway revival of "Singin' in the Rain" had poor critical reviews and probably wished for some of the Cats audience. It also played throughout the United States in 1986, and people have reported seeing the lost commercial outside the New York metro area, so its a good candidate. Other options include Sweet Charity, which had a 1986 Broadway revival, and "Man of La Mancha".

There are countless videos of 1980s commercial breaks uploaded to YouTube, but this commercial still proves elusive. (See, for example, this July 4, 1986 commercial block which has a commercial for Drood and the long-running A Chorus Line--but its not those!)

Somebody must have this recorded on a moldy VHS tape, somewhere! Can you find it and reap everlasting Internet fame?

Sources That Are Better Than Cats

Selected early uses of "Better than Cats" joke in media
  • 1990: Alec Baldwin's upcoming role caused him to say: "I laughed I cried I loved it more than Cats!"
  • 1990: Chicago Tribune review of Johnny Depp film "Cry Baby" reports that "I laughed; I cried; it was better than "Cats.""
  • 1991: Student movie review is titled "I laughed, I cried - it was better than Cats"
  • 1992: College guidebook has "School v. Cats" section of students comparing their school to Cats.
  • 1993: Time Magazine article by Margaret Carlson on Clinton documentary opens with the phrase. "I laughed. I cried. Better than Cats!"
  • 1996: Jenny McCarthy TV show is, you guessed it, better than Cats. At this point references to the phrase are everywhere in the press.
Past attempts of the Internets to determine origin of the phrase:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Occupy Marines - Wikipedia article.

Occupy Marines
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Occupy Marines (stylized as OccupyMARINES) is a Facebook support group[1] that encourages non-active duty Marines to support the Occupy Wall Street movement.[2] Occupy Marines claims no affiliation with the United States Marine Corps, active-duty servicemembers or established U.S. veterans groups.


1 Origins
2 Mission
3 Funding
4 References
5 External Links


On October 24, 2011, CBS/AP reported that Occupy Marines formed "after videos circulated online" of Shamar Thomas, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, who confronted New York City police during an OWS march in Times Square on October 15, 2011,[2] yelling "Stop hurting these people, man! … How do you sleep at night? There is no honor in this!"[3]


The stated mission of Occupy Marines is to "support demonstrators with organization, direction, supply and logistics, and leadership."[2] [4] Active-duty servicemembers are prohibited by U.S. military law from joining the protests. For those who can join, Occupy Marines asked that they do not wear military dress uniform if actively participating in group activities, but instead advised a dress code outlined on the Occupy Marines website.[5]

On October 29, 2011, Business Insider reported that Occupy Marines requested the resignation of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, and reprinted Occupy Marines' demands for the resignation of Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan and the identification of Oakland police who engage protestors with excessive force.[6]

On October 31, ABC News quoted a spokesperson for a group calling itself "Occupy Marines Corps" [sic] as saying: "We will use any nonviolent means to convince law enforcement agencies to understand that brutality will only strengthen our resolve."[7]

On Nov. 11, 2011, a spokesperson for Occupy Marines was reported as saying: "As veterans we were led to believe [that] our service was to protect America's way of life abroad...We did not want to believe that our presence in the Middle East was to ensure an oil supply, or to deepen the pockets of the financial elites. Many…lost their life out there, and the suggestion that their sacrifice was for profits, or oil, is unbearable."[8]

Occupy Marines also called on veterans of other military branches to help "talk sense" to police and recruit them into supporting the Occupy movement.[5] Along with a newly formed online entity 'Occupy Police', Occupy Marines has been referred to as "staking out a new realm of metaphorical occupations" beyond the physical territories associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement.[3]


It was reported on Oct. 23, 2011, that the Occupy Marines website was credited as "proudly donated by The Pirate Party of New York," with a group referred to as Velvet Revolution proposed to act as fiscal sponsor to accept donations.[3] However, it was noted elsewhere on the same day that the website asked donors to wait until non-profit 501(c)(3) status had been achieved.[5]


^ Strauss, Gary and Rick Hampson (2011-11-2). "Former Marine's injury spurs vets to join Occupy movement". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
^ a b c Morgan, David (2011-10-24). "Semper Fi: Non-active Marines called to 'Occupy'". CBS News. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
^ a b c Kane, Muriel (2011-10-23). "Occupy movement spins off OccupyMARINES and Occupy Police". Raw Story. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
^ Anderson, Jon R. (2011-11-18). "'Occupy' protests lure veterans". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
^ a b c Johnson, Robert (2011-10-23). "Marines Are Calling In Reinforcements To Occupy Wall Street". Business Insider. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
^ "Reward Offered For Name Of Policeman Who Shot Veteran Scott Olsen In Oakland Protest". The Business Insider. October 29, 2011.
^ Wong, Kristina (2011-10-31). "Occupy Veterans Movement Growing Across U.S.". ABC News. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
^ Cravero, Paolo (2011-11-11). "Veterans Occupy Wall Street". The Nation. Retrieved 2011-12-15.

Note: Just deleted from Wikipedia, at least temporarily.

Update: 5am PST 12/20: It has been restored.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

TIME Magazine Sandusky Riot Fuckup

Yesterday, TIME magazine started posting their typical "here's the shit that went down in 2011" lists. Number 1 among the "Top 10 Sports Moments" was the Penn State-Sandusky child abuse scandal.

Screen cap of fucked up TIME magazine story

Accompanying the story is a YouTube video embed called "Penn state riot". But if you thought this is footage of Penn State students rioting when The Holy JoePa was fired -- you'd be wrong! Actually, its footage from October 2008 after Penn State beat Ohio State. The video was clearly uploaded on October 26, 2008--when Jerry Sandusky was still merrily molesting boys--and the top comment is very clear:

"Just so everyone knows, this video was made in 2008 after a win against Ohio State. This was 3 years ago."

How could TIME magazine have known?!?!?!

Its also been called out in the comments to the TIME story, so presumably it will be quietly fixed soon and your unquestioned faith in TIME can return.

how long will it take

And your unquestioned lack of faith in "blogs" can return as well. Stay tuned for my next post, which will include footage of President Obama speaking on 9/11.